Sonny Rollins: I'm an Old Cowhand


I'm an Old Cowhand


Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)


Way Out West (Contemporary / OJC 337)

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Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Ray Brown (bass), Shelly Manne (drums).

Composed by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren


Recorded: Los Angeles, March 7, 1957


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

William Claxton, who took the cover photo of Sonny Rollins in cowboy attire in a desert setting, confirms that Mel Brooks got the inspiration for his film Blazing Saddles from this striking image. But this is only one of the many peculiarities of this recording. After all, who expects Sonny Rollins to cover a Roy Rogers song? But a more welcome innovation is the absence of piano on this track. Rollins would emerge as the master of the sax trio—just bass and drums, and no chords to clog up the middle. And it all started on this legendary session. Solidly swinging tenor with a dollop of good humor.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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